AIDS report tells what is seen in SA wards

by The Citizen

The report on the impact of HIV/AIDS on adult mortality in South Africa mirrors what is happening in hospitals across the country.

This was the opinion of doctors and specialists in the HIV/AIDS field yesterday following claims that the highly controversial report released on Tuesday was inaccurate.

The report definitely mirrors what we see every day in our wards, said Dr Francois Venter, of the HIV Clinical Research Unit at the Johannesburg Hospital. I believe this is an historic document as it reflects what we are dealing with in the country.

Dr Venter told The Citizen a fundamental shift had taken place and patients living and dying with HIV/AIDS were becoming younger.

I would agree with the MRC report that the number of deaths between the age of 20 to 40 has dramatically increased. Ten years ago we hardly saw people dying, but now it is by far the most common cause of death.

He said organisations like Stats SA were poorly informed if they considered notification as the best means of determining how many people were dying of HIV/AIDS. I think the numbers are no longer important. It has been established by various organisations that there are about five million people in South Africa living with HIV.

Source: The Citizen, 18 October 2001